Kuri, Cabbages, Tomato Soup and Winter

The forecast of snow and freezing rain prompted me to pull in the last of the cabbage. Blustery winds and an icy chill, the kind that goes right to the fingertips, drove me into the kitchen. The tomatoes had all ripened in the windowsills and I found an interesting looking Kuri squash on sale at our organic market.  The squash was such a rich and pretty color, I decided to use it to make our Thanksgiving soup. Googling it, I read that Kuri squash has a delicate flavor reminiscent of chestnuts. I interpreted that as being bland so I seeded, quartered and roasted it on a cookie sheet with other vegetables that I had on hand; garlic, onions, carrots and tomatoes. After about 30 minutes, I scooped the flesh out of the squash and puréed it with the other roasted vegetables. It tasted delicious. Into the freezer it went. I will add broth to thin it out and finish it with a little cream on Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, I stewed the last of my summer tomatoes and put them through the mill. Instead of freezing the lot, I made a quick batch of tomato soup. I sautéed an onion and a little garlic with lots of fresh oregano in butter until the onions were soft. I puréed that with the tomatoes and let it simmer for awhile.  A touch of cream  cut the acidity and brought some richness and warmth  to the mix.

I made up a batch of sauerkraut with my cabbages and added carrots and kale. I get such a thrill over my sauerkraut.  It’s so gratifying to think how I started with tiny seeds in April and end up with beautiful jars  of healthy, probiotic goodness that will last me all winter!  A lot of people give testimony about the healings that take place when they introduce fermented foods into their diets.  The only thing I noticed was  a weight loss , around 10-15 pounds.  I’m not complaining.

 So, Winter is here, unofficially.  I have embraced it.  There’s usually something good bubbling on the stove and roasting in the oven.  Extra quilts are pulled out of the chests and piled on the beds.   Sewing  baskets, hooks, yarns and my paintbox keep me happy and busy after dinner,  by the fireplace.  Life is good.

 

 

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37 thoughts on “Kuri, Cabbages, Tomato Soup and Winter

  1. So love your write up of winter’s life at your place, I can smell your broths and other goodies cooking away, and great idea of the sauerkraut too, must make that some day, maybe next year. I see your lovely crochet work, love the colours. I’ve got some projects too for before Christmas, for my grandkid’s presents, very enjoyable and rewarding.

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      • Likewise Cynthia, I have plans to make speculaas, a Flemish winter spicy biscuit, used to be made only for St.Niklaas on the 6th of December but now sold all year long and exported too. But I want to make the real thing at home in the next few weeks, let you know how it goes, will document 🙂

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        • That sounds great!! I have started making my baking list out too. Lots of my Grandmother’s recipes. I am wondering if your speculaas is similar to what we call spekulatius. I’ve read about them and love the tradition behind them. Are they pressed with molds? Wonderful tradition for your grandchildren! Can’t wait to see yours

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      • I just want to mention that I had my great-aunt Hortense’s violet plants (3) alive and living until last year when all three of them gave up the ghost at the same time. They were from 1955. Cynthia, you are so right about embracing winter. That is the best way to enjoy it-embrace it. Love the photograph of the sky with bare tree limbs.

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        • Thanks Ginene. 1955? That’s amazing! Odd they all went at the same time. I’ve heard of Christmas cactuses being passed down through generations. I like that idea of having something alive to care for that was cared for by previous generations. I wish I had one of my Mother’s violets. Maybe I’ll start one and record the date on the pot. Hortense is a great name, isn’t it?

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          • Yes, it is a great old name. In Canada, the H wasn’t pronounced (French). All their names were beautiful. My grandmother was named Fleurette which she changed to Loretta when she came to the U.S.A. They didn’t want to appear as new Americans.
            Ginene

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  2. Wow, you’re organized, preparing squash for Thanksgiving now. I have to get to work and plan a menu at least. I too love my sauerkraut. That’s wonderful you grow your own veggies for it. The thing I’ve noticed about eating lots of fermented foods (at least one a day) is I don’t get sick. The last time I had the sniffles was 2011. Maybe other factors are at play, but I think the beneficial microbes are keeping me healthy.

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    • I was reading your blog today. We do a lot of things the same way, like stock- making. I do notice if I’m away and haven’t eaten fermented things, I feel slow and puffy, lol. Your blog is a gold mine of information! I am looking forward to see how your city or country decision progresses!

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      • Thank you! I think we do a lot of the same things too, but you do them more artistically. You’re very talented. I was away at my brother’s this week and didn’t eat anything fermented all week. I thought I might go through withdrawal and get sick, but I survived. I look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

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  3. I’ve heard loads about fermented food being good for health. Haven’t eaten sauerkraut (choucroute) since I lived in Lorraine, France, about 20 years ago…

    Anyway, looks like you’ve been doing some amazing stuff and reading your post makes me feel all cosy and warm. Better get in the kitchen myself to use up some remaining tomatoes 😉.

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  4. Ohmyohmy, so cozy this post! I can really smell that soup and how I love the squash! A good thing I was reading this blog just before dinner, it was mouthwatering and I am very peckish now. Have alovely evening, Johanna

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  5. I like the name Fleurette too. Also fermented foods are: Sauerkraut? And anything with vinegar? Or is it broccoli, kale and cauliflower? I would love to know what those foods are. I need to lose weight and I get sick a lot! They sound like a winner!!!!!! Nice post as always!

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    • Fermented foods aren’t the pickled vegetables using vinegar. They’re live foods that have lots of beneficial bacteria and nutritional benefits. Over the counter live ferments are available at many of the big grocery chains. “Bubbies” brand sauerkraut, green tomatoes and dill pickles , raw kombucha and kefir are all fermented and readily available.
      http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/ is Donna Schwenk’s website and there’s a lot of information about ferments there.

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    • Thanks, Camelia. I can see that similarity. I m not a talented quilter at all but I love that pattern and have actually made it. This makes me wonder how many hundreds of quilts you have made. Amazing!!!

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